Governor Northam: ‘Virginia is basically on its own’ in COVID-19 fight

Updated: Apr. 2, 2020 at 4:32 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With a shortage of desperately needed medical supplies in the national stockpile, governors across the country are getting creative to help first responders and that includes Virginia’s top executive.

Governor Ralph Northam said “Virginia is basically on its own” right now in the coronavirus battle. But people here in the state are stepping up to help.

Thursday afternoon, Northam received the first case of hand sanitizer from Catoctin Creek Distillery. The Purcellville company changed how it operates to start making the product. It will be given to first responders.

Catoctin CreeK Distillery hand sanitizer.
Catoctin CreeK Distillery hand sanitizer.(Governor Northam's Office)

"It’s just been amazing. First of all, here we are talking about hand sanitizer from a distillery but we have a shortage of PPE. As we move forward, as we look for the surge to come probably in May, that’s one of my main concerns is to make sure that our first responders, our healthcare providers have access to PPE,” said Northam.

So far, the state has received three shipments of supplies from the national stockpile, which is running low. Northam says more Virginia companies will need to step up and help.

"It’s going to be a challenge. We’re looking at the peak being in May. We’re just unfortunately at the beginning of this virus. States literally are competing for these supplies. We haven’t had the direction we would have liked to have from the national level,” said Northam.

The governor says companies in the commonwealth have been helping over the past two weeks, but with the surge still, weeks away, more will be needed.

Northam will hold a COVID-19 briefing Friday afternoon to update us on the state’s response - including where a field hospital could be set up in the Richmond area.

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